AAP drains NDMC’s sun city energy

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The sun is yet to shine on the New Delhi Municipal Council’s (NDMC) Smart City push.In a first of its kind project in the country under the Central government’s ambitious project, the civic body—looking after the areas inhabited by the city’s high and mighty—plans to generate 20 MW of solar power at a cost of Rs 150 crore. But it is awaiting permission from the Delhi government to cover a drain with solar panels for generating the targetted energy. “We need licence to use the drain for a period of time,” said A K Joshi, chief engineer at NDMC’s  Electricity Department.According to NDMC, the project is getting delayed due to the involvement of multiple authorities. The proposal, sent to the Kejriwal government in January for a go-ahead, is awaiting permission from the Public Works Department and Department of Irrigation and Flood Control, which manage the city’s drains. NDMC currently generates 800 KW of solar power and has plans to cover 10 km open surface stretch—from Gopalpur to Mukundpur—of the 46 km-long drain in Najafgarh. “As far as environment and other infrastructure clearances are concerned, we have given the no-objection certificate, but NDMC is yet to come up with a more comprehensive layout for the proposed plan,” said a high-ranking official of the Irrigation and Flood Control Department. “We will hire a consultant, especially for this environment-friendly project, to guide us with the design of the power plant. As this is happening for the first time, a new approach will have to be taken, which will take time,” Joshi said. In addition to harnessing solar energy, NDMC plans to cover the open drain and aesthetically beautify the area. “As this is going to be on a drain, we will have to look for the right direction of sun rays and flow of the sewage,” Joshi said. In its first step towards making the Lutyens’ zone a solar-powered city in 2014, the civic body had signed an MoU with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), an undertaking of the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. As per the MoU, Central government will give 15 per cent subsidy investment for the project and the rest 85 per cent will be raised by the civic body. A tender was floated, following which two companies: Unicab and Tata Power, were selected in February to feed NDMC’s 23 electric substations.

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